NRMP - Private Plan Changes

Anyone can seek changes to the Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP) through a private plan change under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

Although similar to other plan changes, requests for private plan changes allow for anyone to seek changes to the NRMP, and are not initiated by the Council. 

Private parties can request changes to existing provisions or introduce new provisions of the NRMP, such as re-zoning land or changing rules.

See full details of all plan changes to the NRMP.

The process

The process for undertaking a private plan change is provided for in the Resource Management Act 1991 (Schedule 1, Clause 21).

All plan changes are notified, which gives the public an opportunity to submit in support or opposition to the proposal.  Information on the application, submission forms, timeframes and processes will be available on Council’s website and updated regularly.

The steps below outline the general process for private plan changes, which involves two decisions. The first step is procedural (Cl25 of the RMA), and the second step requires a decision on the merits of the application:

Step 1 – Process decision

  • The applicant lodges a private plan change request with the Council and pays a deposit to the Council for costs associated with processing the request.
  • The Council processes the request – this may involve asking for further information or commissioning relevant reports.
  • The Council may modify the request with the applicant's approval (if necessary).
  • Upon receiving all information, the Council will decide whether to either:
    • adopt or accept the request for a plan change for further consideration (see Step 2 below),
    • reject the request, or
    • convert the request to a resource consent application.

At Step 1, the Council will also decide if the plan change proposal will be heard by independent commissioners, councillors or a mix of both.

The matters that Council can consider in its decision under Step 1 are set out in the RMA, and explained at

Step 2 – Content decision

  • The Council will then publicly notify the plan change if it has been adopted or accepted. At this stage, there will be an opportunity for submissions and further submissions
  • A hearing will be held to assess the merits of the request and consider any submissions.
  • A decision is issued on the request.
  • After the decision is issued, anyone who has made a submission on the proposed private plan change can appeal the decision to the Environment Court.

Time frame

Private plan changes are often time consuming and lengthy. Council will publicly notify private plan changes, and provide updates on the process and timeframes on its website. The time for public submissions is following notification of the plan change (Step 2 above).